5 ways to reuse plastic bottles

We all want to do our bit for the environment, but what if instead of just recycling our plastic bottles, we turned them into something completely new? Think storage containers, funnels, and more…

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A few drinks here and there and your recycling bin can quickly be full of empty bottles. Try some of these cool ideas to give them a second life. Kids can join in too, but keep a close eye on them and don’t let them use scissors or glue without adult supervision.

1. Ice packs

It’s always a good idea to keep a couple of these on hand in the freezer, whether for soothing minor cuts and burns, or for keeping food cold in picnic baskets and packed lunches. But why buy ice packs when you can make your own from your empty plastic bottles?
Just fill your bottle about halfway with water, screw its cap back on, and then lay it horizontally in your freezer.

2. A watering device for your plants

A drip irrigator that provides your plants with a steady supply of water sounds kind of fancy, doesn’t it? But you can make one in minutes with a plastic bottle.
Start by drilling a few holes in the bottle’s cap. Now tip the bottle upside down and cut off the bottom near the base.

Dig a hole next to the plant or plants you want to keep watered, and bury your bottle so that the cap is facing down and the top is a few centimetres above ground. Secure it in place with soil. Keep the bottle topped up with water and your plants will never get thirsty!

3. Funnels

Cut off your bottle about five centimetres below where it narrows. Then file the rough edge with an emery board. You now have a handy funnel.

4. Storage containers

The bottom half of plastic bottles can easily be turned into useful storage containers. All you have to do is cut the top off and then get rid of the rough edge, either by filing it away with an emery board or covering it with washi tape (washi tape is like decorative masking tape and is easy and cheap to get hold of).

The containers can be used for just about anything from nuts and bolts to make up, and, if you’re feeling really crafty you can even glue a few together to make a desk or dressing-table tidy.

5. Doorstops

To make a doorstep, you need a bottle with its cap. Fill this almost to the top with sand or small pebbles. Add a creative touch by covering the bottle in fabric, or applying fabric, ribbons or beads.

6. Make a jetpack

Got a kid’s fancy dress party coming up? Make an easy jetpack by painting your bottles silver, or covering them in silver foil or paper, and using streamers of red, orange and yellow tissue paper as flames coming out of the bottleneck. Attach them upside to a harness or backpack and let the adventures begin.

7. Create a herb garden

Cut a large panel out of your bottle, then lay it on its side and fill it with soil and plant your herbs. Use a few side by side to create a herb garden, so each plant has its own bottle.

What are your tips for reusing old bottles?
Let us know in the comments below!